Hi everyone. I hope you have had an enjoyable start to your fall season.
The health center will be moving forward to update its inpatient/outpatient pharmacy, central sterile services and renovation to 2000 medical office suite. The Board of Trustees did receive bids from contractors for the four different construction bid packages: general construction, fire sprinkler, plumbing and HVAC, and electrical, communications and technology. The Board of Trustees did award contracts to the following four contractors for the project: JC Wiley and Sons, Continental Fire Sprinkler Co., Brockway Mechanical & Roofing, and Dave Bessine Electric. We will now begin the process of reviewing contracts with the contractors and ordering the material/equipment for the project. The estimated start date for construction will be in January 2020 with the vast majority of the work being done in the evening hours to minimize the impact on normal day to day operations.
Why would the health center consider the possibility of investing such time and financial resources into this project? Compliance with new regulations and updating aging infrastructure are the key reasons the health center needs to do this project. On December 1, 2019, new United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 and 800 regulations go into effect. These regulations add further necessary compliance in how caregivers handle and compound hazardous drugs. In our current hospital pharmacy location (this pharmacy provides services to the hospital’s inpatients and outpatients), the existing infrastructure will not be in compliance with the new regulations. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy recognizes that all of Iowa’s hospitals are being impacted by this new regulation and many may need additional time for completion of facility improvements to be in compliance. The Board of Pharmacy has implemented a one-time request process for delayed compliance. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy has accepted HCHC’s detailed plan to achieve full compliance and notes that HCHC is demonstrating progress towards full compliance with these renovations for a new pharmacy department location. The Iowa Board of Pharmacy also states that our plan assures adequate protection of the public health, safety and welfare during the period of delayed compliance.
Why would we need to update the health center’s pharmacy department? In order to continue to provide key medical services to our patients, i.e. chemotherapy, we will need to make these facility improvements. In addition, there will be a significant amount of education which will be required for many other associates within the health center. A number of new policies and procedures will be implemented along with a significant amount of time that will be needed to educate our associates in how to handle and work with hazardous drugs. There will also be future regulations for the health center’s central sterile services. We will need to have new equipment and processes in place regarding instrument tracking for procedures.
Another key reason for the project are needed facility infrastructure improvements. The length of service of the existing mechanical units, which serve central sterile and the 1981 building locations, have been identified and planned for upgrading. The new mechanical units that will be installed will serve the new pharmacy, central sterile, and education areas along with the remainder of the 1981 building. These mechanical units account for nearly 25% of the project’s costs. The renovation scope of this portion of the project will also include an enhancement to the 2000 Medical Office Building. This is the first significant enhancement to the suite in this medical office building in nearly 20 years. The work will entail improving patient privacy and finishes throughout the suite.
Thanks again for taking the time to read our e-newsletter. Please make sure to look at the current newsletter to review the different events that will be occurring here at the health center that you may find benefit from. As always, I hope you find it informative and helpful for your health care. If you should happen to have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelley Doak or myself and we will be happy to follow up with you.